The job search process has not changed with the advent of technology and the Internet — all we did was take our job postings from print and put them online in more and more locations, resulting in large volumes of applications with no real way to vet the people, their skills, their passions, or their personalities.
For example, last year we received 7,500 applications for an entry-level job for which we hired 55 people. I am not sure those were the best 55. Yet, when I look at my results from my rejected candidate survey, I repeatedly see comments like: “I have filled out numerous applications with never even an interview. I would love the opportunity to speak with someone about my skills.” Or “I would love to have been able to speak to a recruiter to convey how Children’s Mercy could benefit from my knowledge and effective work ethic.” These remarks boil down to a basic desire of people wanting to express themselves and be heard — beyond what outdated application processes offer.
All that is well and good, you say, but I get it — none of us have time to talk to everyone or interview even more. Let me counter that with this: Do any of these problems sound familiar to you?
- A candidate’s perfect match isn’t open today but might be tomorrow. What if the perfect specialist we need comes to our website today, but we don’t have the job open — and it opens tomorrow?
- We have a cumbersome application process. Passive candidates or mobile candidates don’t have the patience for the application. Our current dropout rate is around 40 percent (those who start our application don’t complete it). Perhaps some who drop out are some the best — the busiest who have other choices.
- Candidates may not know what our titles mean or entail and may not pick their best match. How many times do your recruiters say, “Candidates don’t get it and apply to stuff that doesn’t fit them”? Is that all their fault or is some of that on us with our internal titles, acronyms, etc. that make it not so easy to figure out where their best fit is?
- Impersonal application process. I have tried hard to pull down the “black curtain” of secrecy around our recruiters; their picture and a short video of each of them appears on our website. Perhaps it is because we have locations in Kansas that I equate it to the Wizard of Oz behind a curtain pulling the “you are disqualified” lever for candidates and them not knowing who the person is that is responsible. We need to start seeing candidates as the people they are, not just the flat paper resume.
We’re addressing these problems with the launch of our “Introduce Yourself to Us” program. Now, candidates who visit our career page have the option to introduce themselves to us by completing a short, two-question video interview. (The traditional job search is still there.) The video interview allows candidates to tell us more about them — their skills, prior experiences, areas of interest, passion, and more. We get a better sense of who a candidate is — well beyond an online application or a paper resume. We’re able to help match them to the positions that we think they’d be a great fit for — rather than asking candidates to play a guessing game and match themselves to a job. They can still upload a resume or link their LinkedIn profile with the video, but it is not required.
Here is what appears on our website:
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Introduce Yourself to Us
Don’t have time to fill out our application? Don’t see the position that is right for you? Here at Children’s Mercy we believe in building careers not just filling jobs. Take a few minutes and introduce yourself to us with a video interview. Choose the area below that’s right for you.
In just three weeks since we launched the program, we’ve already hired our first two candidates who came in through our Introduce Yourself to Us program. With video interviews, our recruiters’ discussions are very different. Rather than verifying words on a piece of paper, I hear more meaningful discussions about relevant prior experiences, where a particular candidate would fit here at Children’s Mercy, and where we think we should send people, instead of the standard rejection. We are getting more personal with people and it seems to be working. Candidates love it too.
I can’t wait to see what the future will hold as we continue to reverse the job search process — introduce yourself to us and we’ll find the best fit for you!